The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Healing

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natural healing

If you are new to natural health, it can be very overwhelming to know where to begin your journey. I’m going to put together my top tips on where to start!

Heal Your Gut

Healing your gut is usually the best first step to take on this healing journey. Many people are dealing with leaky gut, impaired digestion, and many nutritional imbalances. The best things to look into to heal the gut are grass-fed collagen, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, probiotics, and bitter herbs.

Eat Clean!

Part of healing your gut will include eliminating processed foods, and learning to incorporate more whole foods. Staying away from MSG, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, corn syrup, and canola oil is essential. Luckily, it is easy to avoid these things if you are eating organically! You can learn more about my take on the Ideal diet here, or just check out the “food-like” items we should all be avoiding. I also have some tips here on Eating Clean on a budget! Also, drinking clean is just as important as the eating clean part! Cutting out soda, non-organic coffee and teas, and excessive fruit juice is essential. Read my tips on properly staying hydrated here.

Love your liver

Our livers have over 500 functions!  We can function with only 1/6th of our livers so they can truly take a beating until we determine that something is actually wrong. If you are dealing with any sort of illness, it is a given that your liver needs some love. My favorite liver lover to start with is BioRay Liver Life. My next favorites are bitter herbs, dandelion root tea, beets, sunflower lecithin, and castor oil packs.

Move your lymph

Our lymph systems play a big role in detoxification. The lymph system does not have its own pump so we have to help support it. Easy ways to support the lymph are dry skin brushing, rebounding, castor oil packs, light exercise like yoga (especially the legs on the wall pose!) and walking, massage, and herbs like red root (which is in the Liver Life supplement mentioned above).

Reduce environmental toxins

The average American woman uses about 515 chemicals on her body daily with the use of popular personal care products. While not all of these chemicals are harmful, many of them have proven to be carcinogenic, disruptive of hormones, or just plain irritating to the skin. When our livers are overloaded, it is very hard for our bodies to process these chemicals so it is just best to reduce the toxic load wherever we can.

There are about 82,000 known chemicals used in everyday household items, and most of them have never been tested for safety. I recommend taking baby steps with this one and just start replacing the items in your house with better products. This includes dish soap, all-purpose cleaners, shampoo, deodorant, make-up, and perfumes. We use Poofy Organics for most of our personal care and household products. They have about 500 products at this point, and they are one of the few companies I completely trust. I’m very picky with what I use and promote at this point!

Improve Sleep

Without sleep, we cannot properly heal. Sleep is considered to be a silent healer: it seems unimportant to many people, but we heal and detox a LOT when we get proper rest. You can read my top tips for getting better sleep here. My favorites are tart cherry juice, castor oil packs, dandelion root tea, limiting screen time for about 1-2 hours before bed, reading a physical book (not an ebook!), making sure you get some light exercise through the day (even the legs on the wall yoga pose can help), and making sure you are loving your livers as mentioned above.

Figure out your personal nutritional deficiencies so you aren’t blindly supplementing.

Most of my followers know by now that I love hair tissue mineral analysis. It can truly take a lot of the guesswork out of healing, and it can save you the frustration of trying supplement after supplement in the hopes that something will work for you. Copper dysregulation is a big focus for most of my clients, and HTMA is a great way to figure out the best way to fix this issue. You can learn all about HTMA here!

Nutrient Dense Foods

Once we cut the junk out, we need to focus on the good stuff. My favorite nutrient dense foods are ghee, grass-fed butter, pumpkin seeds, herbal infusions (especially nettles and oatstraw), desiccated beef liver, grass-fed collagen, bone broth, good fats, and good proteins.

Stress Management

Western society is obsessed with being busy. The busier you are, the more successful you seem apparently. However, this lifestyle is not sustainable and it is playing a very big role in our health. Learning how to reduce (or in some cases eliminate) stress is a crucial part to healing. This might be finding a job that is less stressful, cutting toxic people out of your life, making yourself realize that you don’t have to push yourself to exhaustion each day just to accomplish things, and cutting down on stimulants/addictions like caffeine and cigarettes.

Sometimes we can’t change our situations, but we can change how we reach to things to an extent. There are MANY ways to help yourself cope with stress. If you are dealing with adrenal exhaustion, a good adaptogenic herb can help depending on the state of your adrenals as well as your symptoms. But doing things like finding a hobby to do each day can help so much. Experiencing pure happiness everyday, even for a short amount of time can truly change your attitude.

So read a book, start a blog, go for a walk, talk to friends, look into EFT/Tapping, Buteyko breathing, yoga, meditate, practice gratitude, whatever helps you disconnect from your stress for a few minutes!

And that is it!

I hope this helps those that are just getting on this path! It might seem overwhelming at first, but once you get used to living a healthier lifestyle it becomes much easier. And completely worth it! Changing our lifestyles is so imperative, especially because we need to start thinking about the future generations.

Need more ideas? Check out my massive post on my absolute favorite remedies for specific health conditions!

 

Proper Hydration for Better Health

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proper hydration

A dear friend of mine shared this article with me a few months ago and it really made me realize how much I agree with it, but it isn’t something that I’ve ever really addressed to my followers before. Basically, the idea that we need massive amounts of plain water a day isn’t entirely true.  When we are dealing with mineral deficiencies, too much plain water can actually be detrimental to our health because we can further lower our electrolyte levels.

Staying Hydrated is definitely key for health though!

I tend to recommend a lot of liquids in my plans for people, so much so that they often comment about it. And usually I will think to mention how it’s better to be drinking so many concoctions that actually have minerals and other nutrients in them instead of plain water, which can be dehydrating.  Also, when we are trying to replenish nutrient levels, we aren’t just limited to food items for this purpose: there are many ways to drink our nutrients.  Those dealing with leaky gut and low stomach acid tend to find the best benefit from this approach.

My Favorite Drinks

I love to mix it up when it comes to these drinks, and I think that instinct plays a big role in what I pick on a daily basis. Some days I really want some dandelion, and others I really can’t stand it. I think variety is very important when it comes to healing too- if we get stuck doing the same ole thing every single day, we’re going to get bored and fall out of the habit of doing things.

Cranberry Lemon Limeade

Cranberry juice is amazing for the lymph system, the urinary tract system, cardiovascular system, and it can help with cancer prevention. Cranberry is also helpful for those dealing with H.Pylori infections.

Lemons and limes are both amazing for the gut, liver, lymph, and contain a lot of vitamin C.  Warm lemon water in the morning is a popular way to start the day and get digestion kick-started, but I am not very fond of this personally (and I find that the lemon makes my teeth hurt! I’ve tried straws but I really just prefer this recipe that I’m going to talk about.)

You could totally use any of these fruits in isolation, but for getting the maximum benefit as well as making a drink that is very enjoyable, I have come up with this recipe:

  • I usually make 2 quarts at a time so I have enough for a few days.
  • I use 1/4-1/2 cup of cranberry juice per quart (unsweetened, either bought or homemade and organic when possible)
  • I juice 2 lemons and limes and split this liquid between the 2 quarts. I use this awesome juicer that attaches to my stand mixer, makes things so super easy!
  • I’ve been adding about a tablespoon of raw honey to each quart now too, and this makes this concoction taste SO good.  I usually mix it with the cranberry and lemon/lime juices, and then I add enough water to the quart jars to fill them up.
  • And that’s it! I usually make this twice a week now. On the days I feel like my lymph and liver are a bit sluggish, I drink more of this than anything else.

Herbal Infusions

Most people already know my love for herbal infusions. These amazing beverages are a perfect way to help replenish mineral levels, which support many of the body’s organs.

Nettle infusions are my top favorite as they are the most nutrient dense and have the widest range of benefits. They help with adrenal health, kidney and liver detox, blood sugar regulation, hormonal health, they help increase milk supply for nursing mothers, they help prevent and treat anemia, and they are a natural anti-histamine. Nettles actually help to release uric acid from the joints, making it a great remedy for arthritis as well.  Nettles treat neurological disorders, congestion, joints/muscle pain, allergies, celiac’s disease, skin complaints, UTIs, and all women’s issues.  They are also used for enlarged prostate glands, parasites, regulating blood pressure, goiter, Lupus, and they help to purify the blood. You can get stinging nettles here.

The other main infusions that I recommend depending on symptoms and what a person’s HTMA says are oatstraw and red raspberry leaf.

Oatstraw is full of magnesium and most of the B vitamins and is the richest food source of silica, a mineral that is VERY important for detoxification as well as hair, skin and nail health. Oatstraw is great for restoring the nervous system, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, stabilizing emotions (great for anxiety and depression), and it is a well-known aphrodisiac. It also can help with energy, detoxification, immune health, overcoming addictions, and brain fog. Oatstraw especially benefits the liver and pancreas.

Red Raspberry Leaf is an amazing remedy for PMS, endometriosis, and it helps to balance hormones. This herb is especially helpful for women trying to conceive as it is a very popular remedy for infertility. Red raspberry leaf works great with nettles during pregnancy and while breastfeeding since they both provide amazing nutrition as well as helping to balance hormones. It helps to strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles which helps to make labor shorter and easier.

How to make herbal infusions:

Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (about one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions.  Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them. If you find yours has gone a little bad, you can use it for any plants you might have or even a hair rinse after you wash your hair!

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is one of my favorite gut healing tools. This helps with digesting food, assimilating nutrients, and gentle detox.

Usually the best way to take ACV is to use 1-2 tablespoons (diluted in water), about 10-15 minutes before at least 2 meals a day. We need to dilute the vinegar because of how strong it is, but if you can limit the amount of water used to about 4-6 ounces this is best so we don’t have too much liquid in the stomach when you are about to eat. But the extra acidity that the ACV provides is usually worth it!

ACV isn’t the most delicious thing to drink, but it can be VERY helpful for those dealing with low stomach acid. If the above recipe isn’t palatable, then look into making something like Switchel, which uses ACV and other gut healers, but tastes MUCH better!

Adrenal Cocktails

Adrenal Cocktails are amazing additions for people needing extra adrenal support. They can help with energy boosting, soothing anxiety, sleep, and more. Potassium, sodium and vitamin C are 3 of the most important nutrients that the adrenals need when they are under stress. Most do the cocktails at least twice daily, usually mid morning and mid afternoon to help with preventing energy slumps that tend to happen at those times. Some use 1/4 teaspoon of unrefined salt or they use an amount of salt water sole that works best for them. I tend to like sole since it is much easier to add to these liquids- you don’t have to take extra time to dissolve the salt that way!

Some people also add grass-fed collagen (or even their adaptogen blends) to their adrenal cocktails.

Recipe Ideas:

  • The original: 8 ounce OJ with ¼ tsp cream of tartar and ¼ tsp of unrefined salt
  • My favorite: 8 ounces coconut water, ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt , and vitamin C powder.
  • Food based: Baked sweet potato with some grass-fed butter, unrefined sea salt, and blackstrap molasses
  • Other ideas: 1T of black strap molasses, 1 whole organic lemon, 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt, with just enough water to blend it all
  • 1/2 cup coconut water, 1-2 tsps of sole water, 1/2 tsp of pure radiance vitamin c and squeezed 1/2 lime

Dandelion root tea or decoctions

Dandelion root is one of my favorite herbs for liver health (helps bile flow), helps fat metabolism, high in potassium, helps digestion, and good coffee substitute.   Recipe ideas and where to find dandelion in here!

Other ideas:

  • Adding salt water sole to the water that you do drink
  • Coconut water (and you can add sole to this as well)
  • Watermelon water
  • Drinks like “Daily Greens”: they have a lemonade type drink that has nearly 3000mg of potassium in a bottle!

 

Herbal Bitters: An Essential tool for Gut Healing!

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Bitter herbs are an incredibly powerful tool for fixing digestion. Digestion starts in the mouth, and herbal bitters help kick start this process. The “bitter” taste hits our taste buds and starts to stimulate the production of gastric juices.

Herbal bitters help to:

  • Regulate stomach acid
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Boost bile flow for fat absorption and detoxification (bile is a basically a natural laxative- and poor bile is a huge cause of constipation)
  • Aid liver function
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase nutrient assimilation
  • And they can even help with stress and anxiety
  • Encourage digestive enzyme production (which is why I recommend them over most regular enzyme supplements)
  • Calm down heartburn, gas, and bloating

My Favorite Bitter Herbs

Dandelion Root

Most people already know how much I love dandelion root. One of the reasons why it is so helpful is because of its role as a bitter herb. Dandelion helps stimulate bile flow in the liver, which is an important factor for people trying to regain their health and detox effectively. One source that it actually quadruples bile flow!

My favorite ways to use dandelion include tea or a decoction. You can get the recipes here, or check out these photos so you can Pin them for later!

Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters

Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters are great! This blend includes Anise Seed, Cardamom, Fennel, Gentian, Ginger Root, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, and more. You just put 60 drops in a little bit of liquid about 15 minutes before each meal to help with digestion. So easy! I usually recommend to start with just a few drops at first just to work up to the full dose because increasing bile flow can start to initiate some detox.

Herb Pharm Better Bitters

Herb Pharm is another one of my favorite herbal companies. They offer several herbal bitter options: liquids(like the Gaia herbs formula above) or they even have sprays. The sprays are even easier (and great for on-the-go use!) as all you do is spray it 4 times in your mouth about 10 minutes before a meal. The sprays are STRONG tasting but it is kind of the point when it comes to bitters. We want to taste the bitter flavor as much as we can to help stimulate the gut.

The Herb Pharm bitters have a few flavors to choose from. I went with the Classic and Bittersweet sprays, and honestly there is not much of a difference in taste. They are both pretty strong tasting, but both effective!

My current assortment of bitters!

Note for Nursing Mamas: Most of these bitters aren’t good while nursing (which stinks because we need that bile support postpartum!). I have found 3 options that are OK while nursing.  This lactation formula has bitters in it, so it can help with milk supply as well.   And this one is good while pregnant so I would think it is OK while nursing.

Dandelion tea is also ok while pregnant and nursing, I just wouldn’t overdo it. Maybe 1 cup a day would be good just for a bit of support. Obviously eating or drinking things like beets, artichokes, Apple cider vinegar, lemon water,  and healthy fats help with bile as well as those are definitely safe during these times where we need lots of nourishment.


Why I LOVE Elderberry Syrup(Plus my recipe!)

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elderberries

Elderberries are one of the best immune boosters out there.  There is a lot of evidence that elderberry syrup is so strong that it is an effective treatment for the flu!  Elderberries are high in vitamin C, which we know is a crucial nutrient for immune health.  Elderberries are anti-inflammatory but they have a laxative, diuretic, and expectorant properties.

Elderberries can also be beneficial to those with EBV, herpes simplex, and even HIV. It can help lower the risk of heart disease as well! (Source)

The most common way to use elderberries is in a syrup.  You can buy your own or you can make it yourself!  It is much more cost effective you make it yourself.  A whole pound of elderberries is the same price as a small portion of pre-made syrup.  Learn how to make your own syrup from Wellness Mama. I use her recipe when I make elderberry syrup, but I do make a few modifications.

Elderberry Syrup
Print Recipe
One of the BEST immune system boosters out there!
Elderberry Syrup
Print Recipe
One of the BEST immune system boosters out there!
Instructions
  1. Add water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (if using) to a pot. Don’t add the honey though!
  2. Once the mixture boils, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45-60 minutes. The liquid should reduce by almost half in this time.
  3. Let the mixture cool for a good 10-15 minutes. Pour this mixture through a mesh strainer into another bowl, and you can mash the berries with a spoon to help get some more of the juices out. Either throw the used berries out, or compost them if you are able to.
  4. Let the liquid cool a bit longer before adding the raw honey ( heat can kill the enzymes, so we don’t want to add the honey to a very hot liquid).
  5. You can store this in the fridge once complete (a Mason jar is perfect). It seems to vary how long it keeps, but with 3 of us using it regularly, it doesn’t have time to go bad.
Recipe Notes

*I like the recommendation for taking as preventative at least 5 times a week.   Typical dosing is 1-2 tsp for children and 1-2 tbsp for adults. If you do end up catching a cold or the flu, you can easily double the dose until you feel better. If I end up catching something I do 1 tablespoon 3 times a day until I feel better. *

Elderberry syrup might not be a good idea for those with certain auto-immune illnesses.  Just like anything, you have to look into it yourself and see if it is something you can tolerate.  Every body is different.

Why do I recommend raw honey? Read more here!

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Natural Anxiety Relief

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Anxiety SUCKS. Truly. There is no way around that fact!

I dealt with anxiety on a low scale for most of my life, but boy did it get so much worse after I had my son. The experience that I had with postpartum anxiety was what finally landed me in the world of mineral balancing. This is how I found out about how a copper imbalance could have been my root cause of anxiety!

I have since healed from this issue, but it can take time for a root cause of an illness to balance out 100%. There are lots of ways to aid in anxiety though as you are healing from that root issue.

First of all, let’s go over what anxiety truly is and what the symptoms are.

I’m sure most people have had times of anxiety in their lives.  Whether it is just for a short time period, or if you deal with it 24/7, anxiety is an extremely uncomfortable feeling.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling nervous or powerless
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or racing mind

The remedies for anxiety are going to differ based on what your cause is. For most people, copper dysregulation is at the core because excess, unbound copper can truly overstimulate the brain. Please read my whole post on copper to get an idea on how prevalent this issue truly is! If you have ever been on birth control, been a vegetarian/vegan, had copper pipes in your house, or have had children, then copper dysregulation could be your root cause!

Top Natural Anxiety Busters for Fast Relief

Dandelion tea:

A lot of anxiety has to do with a mix of unbound copper that is floating around because we lack the bile flow to excrete it. Couple that with constipation, and you’re just going to be in a cycle of never ending anxiety. This dandelion tea can help with giving a boost of bile to help clear out whatever toxins might be causing your anxiety:

Magnesium:

Mag is a calming mineral. A majority of people are dealing with deficiency of magnesium, especially if they grew up eating the Standard American Diet, which is low in most critical nutrients like mag. Read my whole magnesium post here.

My top pick for quick magnesium is a bath or foot bath. Work up to 2 ounces mag oil (1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda and you can add ½ cup of pink salt if desired.  Epsom salts are also helpful for relaxation, although the mag oil/flakes tend to be better for raising mag levels. Either are a good choice to help with anxiety. You can even get some magnesium lotions like this awesome one with lavender to help relax quickly.

Herbs for Anxiety Relief:

There are so many herbs out there that can help with anxiety, so we’re just going to go over the best ones that I’ve come across.

Oatstraw: I LOVE herbal infusions, and oatsraw is one of the best ones there is for dealing with anxiety. Oatstraw infusions are super high in magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins which are all helpful for the nervous system.

Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (about one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions.  Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them. If you find yours has gone a little bad, you can use it for any plants you might have or even a hair rinse after you wash your hair. Find oatstraw here!

Rhodiola: This is a potent adaptogen! Rhodiola helps a lot with chronic exhaustion, stress and anxiety.

Lavender: Whether it is in a tea or essential oil, lavender is one of the most common herbs used for anxiety and depression. Many studies have proven its benefit for helping stress. Diffuse the oil, get a toxin-free candle made with lavender EO, or just open the bottle and take a whiff 🙂

Stress Manager Formula from Herb Pharm– This formula has all of the best adaptogens in it! Eleuthero Root, Reishi Mushroom, Holy Basil Leaf, Rhodiola Root, and Schisandra Berry.

Gut Healers:

The gut is our second brain. When we are dealing with leaky gut, it is common to experience symptoms like anxiety and depression, so healing your gut is a must. Some quick helpers for experiencing relief include apple cider vinegar, grass-fed collagen, and probiotics. These are things you will have to continue for a time to experience continual healing but I have heard from many people that find fast relief with these 3 things.

For Apple cider vinegar: put 1 tsp-1 tbsp in a glass of water and drink this 1-3 times a day, preferably with meals.

For Collagen: Perfect Supplements is my favorite brand because they are one of the best qualities that I have found. Use 1-2 scoops a day to help get a great source of protein, as well as a boost of amino acids that are essential for gut and brain health.

For Probiotics: My top picks include Garden of Life 100 Billion CFU, Prescript Assist, and Catie’s Whole Food Flora. You can find more ideas here. Also, fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies can help replenish gut bacteria.

For more info on complete gut healing, check out my post on Leaky gut. Also, How Diet Can Effect Mental Health

Stress Busters

My top activities for helping calm anxiety include:

  1. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose. Legs-on-the-wall is my absolute favorite, and I have heard from  many people that this instantly calms them down when dealing with anxiety!
  2. EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.
  3. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method this year, and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, or even in the middle of a panic attack. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  4. Do something that makes you happy! Watch silly videos, read, color, go for a walk in nature, etc. Do something that helps take your mind off of what is going on.

So there you have it: my top natural anxiety relief tips. There are a LOT of things to try. Anxiety is just a (horrible) symptom, but you can heal from it once you find your root cause. As you heal though, you should be able to find relief with some of the ideas above. And remember: I HAVE BEEN THERE! I have HEALED! It is completely possible to heal from chronic illnesses. Stay strong, keep fighting, and don’t give up until you find your root cause.

Happy healing!

My Favorite Herbal Remedies: A new eBook!

Herbal remedies are a huge helper when it comes to healing. The beauty of herbs is that there are so many out there so there are usually a few herbs that work best for some people, but not as well for others. This is where mineral balancing can help- once we figure out your personal imbalances, we can find the best herbs that will work for you!

 

So check out my new awesome guide to read about my favorite herbs! Stinging nettle infusions and dandelion decoctions are my absolute favorite 🙂

Smudging: Cleansing negative energy

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I was lucky enough to have a friend at one point in my life that was Native American. She told me a little bit about what her culture was like, but the biggest thing that she taught me about was Smudging. It is now something that I do regularly when I am feeling extra stressed or just want to clear the house of negative energy.

Smudging is basically the practice of using the smoke of certain herbs to help purify the air and cleanse negative energies. The main herbs used are white sage and/or cedar.  Many people smudge their homes when major changes happen in their life (new baby, new home, loss of a family member, job change, etc), at the change of seasons,  or especially when we are ringing in a New Year. It has also been used to help spirits leave your home if you feel like you have an issue with that (which is exactly what prompted me to start smudging regularly).

The Science on Smudging:

There has actually been a Pubmed study done on the effectiveness of smudging. They looked at 265 herbs in 50 different countries and found that “this review argues in favor of medicinal smoke extended use in modern medicine as a form of drug delivery and as a promising source of new active natural ingredients”.

There has also been an experiment with smudging where they determined that an hour of burning the herbs made a 94% reduction in the bacteria in the air, a result that ended up lasting for a whole month! (Source)

So why smudging may seem like a simple concept, it has truly remarkable and powerful healing potential!

How to Smudge:

14681606_741722695966228_8390366720560847025_n.jpg
Image from Facebook, unknown original source

Or check out this step-by-step guide to smudging.

I like to start at the front door with the smudge stick, and work my way around the whole house. Make sure you have the windows open! Some people pray, some just ask for the negative energy to attach to the smoke and leave the home, and others like to smudge in silence. Be mindful of the ashes as you are going around- I like to carry a glass bowl with me.

Once I am done, I leave the stick in the glass bowl to continue to smoke until it puts itself out. I tend to clean the whole house first before smudging, and I shower after I am done smudging as a sort of total cleansing ritual.

You can find smudge sticks in nearly every health food store, or you can order them on Amazon.

Do you Smudge? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Detoxification: Why we do need extra support!

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Oh boy! For the most part, I have learned my lesson when it comes to arguing with those that cannot/will not see the truth about detoxification but when I come across articles like this one that completely deny the fact that we are bombarded on a daily basis with thousands of environmental toxins, well then my Sassy side starts to come out! 🙂

rusticwedding

Conventional medicine tends to make us believe that we are either 100% or horribly ill- there is no in-between! They claim that we are always detoxing, there is nothing we need to do to facilitate the process, and that we don’t store toxins in our bodies. Oh and the best one I’ve heard is that if you have a liver, you’re healthy. That’s it: just have a liver! HA! In a perfect world, sure! A few hundred years ago this might have been the case because there were far less toxins in our world and the food was a lot more nutritious. So we have to do our best to limit toxin exposure, replenish nutrients, and gently support the body to detox more effectively.

Don’t get me wrong though, there are plenty of people out there giving bad and even dangerous advice when it comes to detox. True detox isn’t going to happen with a 1-month cleanse, intense fasting,  or even from a little box labeled “whole body cleanse” from the vitamin store. We’ll get more into this below on how to truly support detox.

Where are these toxins coming from?

In a recent post, I found that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; and the National Institute of Environment published a 46 page booklet to talk about the environmental causes of cancer. The booklet says that a LARGE number of cancers are in fact preventable, and *at least* two-thirds of all cancers and other illnesses can be linked to environmental issues. These things BUILD UP in the body and slowly start to mess with things. Illness doesn’t usually happen with a one time exposure; these toxins get stored until the body can handle getting rid of them. How can they claim that we don’t need to detox when we have proof like this?!

A majority of the toxins that we come into contact with on a daily basis are products that we use ourselves: deodorant, makeup, perfume, hair dye, shampoo, dish soap, shaving cream, and more.  The average woman puts on about 515 different synthetic chemicals daily – and most of that is just in the morning! These include GMOs, parabens, propylene glycol, ethoxylated compounds,aluminum, SLS, fragrance, artificial colors, micas, oxides, and more. There are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens.

These chemicals are cancer causing, hormone disrupting (especially causing infertility), and skin irritants. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and using these harsh products on our skin daily is truly wreaking havoc for our health.

Other common ways we become overloaded with toxins:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies (especially copper, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and the B vitamins.)
  • Common beauty products (makeup, shampoo, deodorant; again, there are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens)
  • Household cleaners (bleach, windex, etc)
  • Pollution
  • BPA (and other plastics)
  • Asbestos
  • Furniture! Most furniture companies still use toxic chemicals as a flame retardant. The furniture off-gasses, and it gets worse the older it gets. Mattresses tend to be the worst!
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (mostly because of the increase in use of Round-Up.)
  • Parasites which are easily picked up on unwashed produce, pets,
  • Our water supply: Fluoride, heavy metals, parasites, and even traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in tap water. Learn how to get clean water here.
  • Inactivity/lack of exercise
  • Tobacco and its second hand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • UV Radiation (no tanning beds!!)
  • Viral infections (Think EBV and other herpes viruses that can stay dormant in the body and be aquired in utero. If you’ve had mono or strep throat, you likely have EBV lurking! Read more about EBV here.)
  • Bacterial infections (think h. pylori and Lyme and Co.)
  • Radiation (especially Radon, which is extremely common in the US. Testing your home for Radon is essential if you are in a high radon area. Check your state’s environmental site for info.)
  • PESTICIDES: Likely one of the most common causes since we are exposed to these daily. Think food, grass, pest control, etc. This is why organic food is so important! It might not be perfect, but it helps to lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed to.
  • Herbicides: Another huge cause because of GLYPHOSATE use in the US (which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the WHO). While some countries have banned glyphosate because of its toxic effects, the US just rose the acceptable limits of it.
  • Medical drugs
  • Solvents that are used mostly in paint.
  • Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and more

That is an AWFUL lot of junk that we are exposed to through our lives. So if you went into reading this as a skeptic, do you see now the “why” behind detox support?! We are bombarded! Period! We all have a threshold for dealing with these toxins. Those of us that have already met that threshold know the truth behind all of this, and we try to help others realize it. However, most people never change their habits until they already get a diagnosis of some sort. And unfortunately this is harming children even more these days because we are passing along these toxins to them during pregnancy!

How to really support detoxification:

I am a huge believer in food based nutrition. Nutrient dense foods, herbal infusions, and smart use of herbs and spices can help the body rebuild the nutrients it needs to aid in detoxification. Strengthen, nourish and rebuild the body- don’t aim to detox, cleanse, or rip metals/toxins out!

  1. Nutrient Dense Foods- Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it!
  2. Herbal Infusions–  Nettle infusions are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, and they help the kidneys, liver, and adrenals. Oatstraw infusions help quite a bit as well with liver and overall detox support.
  3. Focus on Gut Health– we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Using either a probiotic or eating fermented foods is essential as well.
  4. Stay Hydrated! Try to drink as much filtered or spring water as you want, as well as herbal infusions. Depending on your personal needs you may be able to use Salt water Sole and coconut water as well, to help sodium and potassium balance.
  5. Love your Livers!! The liver has over 500 functions! We can function with as little as 1/6th of our livers- this is why it can take years, even decades, before we even notice any apparent liver dysfunction. Part of the liver’s job is to filter out toxins and convert them into less toxic substances so they can be excreted. However, when the liver gets bombarded by toxins, and coupled with a poor diet, it cannot do its job correctly.  This seems to be the reason for this obesity epidemic, as well as a SAD lifestyle.  Toxins get stored in fat when the liver cannot handle the constant influx of toxins. All of these things factor into illness! My favorite remedies include Bone broth, gelatin, Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, ginger, apples, Milk thistle, dandelion root decoctions or tea, garlic, turmeric, coffee enemas and Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!).  Or you can even try the amazing BioRay Liver life tincture! Whey protein is also an amazing helper for the liver since it helps the body create more glutathione.
  6. Don’t forget your lymph system too! Dry skin brushing, rebounding, yoga, walks, and even castor oil packs can be helpful to keep the lymph moving.
  7. Use hair tissue mineral analysis to determine metabolism, mineral status, and possible heavy metal toxicity. We need to be in balance in order to detox properly!
  8. New to all of this about reducing environmental toxins and not sure where to start? Environmental Working Group has a ton of good information on their website about what chemicals to avoid. They even have a database that rates beauty products according to their safety! There are plenty of good companies out there dedicated to selling quality products but it is important to become a good label reader.This is the main reason why I love and use Poofy Organics. I am extremely picky in the products I use, and Poofy is one of the *very* few companies I trust.

Whew! Well I wasn’t expecting to make such a huge post about this, but like I mentioned at first, posts that spread misinformation make me sassy (and angry!). We need to start PREVENTING illnesses instead of waiting for a diagnosis and then managing them. There are many things in our environment that we can’t control, but there are even more than we can control. I’ve been saying this often and it is so true: it is our responsibility to change now so we can ensure a healthier future for our children and grandchildren.

Always getting sick? Learn how to strengthen your immune system!

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Tis the season for colds and flus! For some reason this year seems even worse than usual. Once a person gets over one cold, they seem to catch another! Why are so many people dealing with weak immune systems? Let’s go over why this happens and what we can do to fix it.

Diet

A poor diet will be one of the BIGGEST reasons why people are constantly getting sick. The Standard American Diet is full of refined sugars, fake foods, and artificial sweeteners and these are foreign invaders to the body that will not help strengthen your health at all. Obviously, we want to always aim for a clean, real foods diet but it is especially important to follow this to keep your immune system strong.

Fresh fruits and veggies, grass-fed meats and dairy, herbal infusions, lots of grass-fed butter and coconut oil and real sweeteners (used moderately) are part of an ideal diet. Yes, I know it’s the holidays and we all cheat- so try to make your own desserts with REAL ingredients. That is what Pinterest is for! Search for Real food recipes.  Read all about the “Ideal Diet” here.

Stress

Stress is inevitable in life, but there are many ways that we can learn to handle stress.  Since chronic stress is so damaging to our health, we can actually lose important nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and zinc when we are under stress. Our adrenals take the biggest hit from stress, and in turn our immune system weakens.

How can we help cope with stress better?

  1. Supporting your adrenals is crucial in order to prevent recurrent infections.
  2. Herbs like oatstraw, lemon balm, rhodiola, lavender, or a formula like Stress Manager from Herb Pharm can help immensely, especially under times of acute stress.
  3. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose
  4. EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.
  5. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method this year, and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, or even in the middle of a panic attack. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  6. Find a hobby, go for walks in nature, or even talk to friends on a daily basis!

Chronic and underlying infections

When our adrenals and livers are weak, when we are nutritionally depleted, and when we are constantly exposed to stress we are at a huge risk of developing chronic infections. In a perfect world where our minerals were balanced, we would NOT be able to harbor these gross pests like parasites, yeast, bacteria, and viruses.  Bioavailable copper is the MOST critical nutrient for keeping these nasty things at bay.  Nearly everyone has copper dysregulation and other mineral deficiencies at this point- and these are just 2 of the major issues out there that are plaguing people.

What are the most common issues?

  • Epstein-Barr virus: If you have ever had strep throat or mono in your life, you likely are a carrier of EBV. EBV tends to stay dormant for the most part, but stress can reactivate it. If your immune system is especially weak, you can have a chronic mild activation of EBV as well. Please read a lot more about this here, including how to test and treat for this illness.
  • Parasites: Or as I like to call them in my big bug post, creepy crawlers. Some people can be harboring parasites for years, even decades, without ever noticing.  We pick up parasites from under-cooked foods (pork is a huge offender), unwashed produce, international travel, pets, and inadequate hygiene.
  • Yeast: You cannot look on a natural health site without seeing the word “Candida”! It seems to be the supposed root cause of nearly everything out there. However, all is not as it seems. Many people spend years on sugar-free diets and anti-fungal herbs but these are not addressing the REAL root cause: copper dysregulation. Getting copper balanced is a huge piece of the puzzle in strengthening the immune system.

What to do to support the immune system

  • Elderberry Syrup: Elderberries are one of the best immune boosters out there.  There is a lot of evidence that elderberry syrup is so strong that it is an effective treatment for the flu!  Elderberries are high in vitamin C, which we know is a crucial nutrient for immune health.  Elderberries are anti-inflammatory but they have a laxative, diuretic, and expectorant properties. Find the recipe here!
  • Cod Liver oil: Vitamins A and D are absolutely crucial for immune health. There is so much focus on vitamin D these days, but vitamin A is likely an even more common deficiency. Cod liver oil has the BEST ratio of these 2 vitamins, especially when it is a good quality product. My favorite CLOs include NutraPro, Rosita’s and Nordic Naturals. Read the breakdown on my favorite cod liver oils here!
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a very important nutrient for immune health but we have been lied to about what true vitamin C is.  90% of the supplements you will see out there that have “vitamin C” on the label are really ascorbic acid which is just the shell of the vitamin C complex. . Read all about whole food C here.  Ascorbic acid can actually cause copper deficiency while whole food vitamin C supports proper copper balance.  Copper is an antioxidant and another nutrient that is needed for proper immune health.
  • Fire Cider: This is some STRONG stuff! You can find recipes for fire cider all over natural health sites, so I recommend finding one that appeals to you. Usually, this concoction includes garlic, onions, apple cider vinegar and some hot peppers and you take a small dose each day to help with preventing infections.

What are your go-to immune boosters for the winter? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

BioRay Kids Line: Amazing support for little bodies!

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So many people are having great success with the BioRay Liver Life, so I wanted to spotlight the kids line that they have as well. All of the tinctures are Alcohol, Gluten, Dairy and Soy free, as well as Non-GMO. Most of these formulas are for children over 1 year of age, and they all have different doses based on weight. The biggest differences between the adult line (which most can be used for kids) and the kid’s line are that the kid’s products are all alcohol free and they are flavored, so even the pickiest kids might handle them well!

NDF Calm

This is one of my favorites of the kid’s line and the one I recommend most often. It helps mostly with taking some stress off of the adrenals, and it aids the liver in gentle detox.

  • Supports healthy liver function
  • Promotes healthy moods and restful sleep
  • Helps kids deal with stress
  • Supports detox pathways in the liver
  • Antioxidant for the liver
  • Replenishes adrenal reserves
  • Has trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Safely removes heavy metals and chemicals
  • Vanilla Flavor (Blue bottle)

NDF Focus

This is my second favorite of the kid’s line. This is specifically for kids that have issues with concentration, brain fog, and seasonal allergies.

  • Promotes Clarity
  • Enhances ability to handle stress
  • Restores steady energy level
  • Supports cognitive function
  • Helps avoid seasonally runny nose and itchiness
  • Reduces environment sensitivities
  • Safely removes heavy metals and chemicals
  • Replenishes adrenal reserves
  • Has trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Citrus flavor (green bottle)

NDF Happy

This one is best for parasite removal. The Happy has the main parasite cleansing herbs (wormwood, black walnut hulls, and cloves) as well as herbs that help support the liver and adrenals.

  • Improves sleep
  • Safely removes unwanted organisms
  • Maintains healthy emotional balance
  • Helps reduce angry outburst
  • Replenishes adrenal reserves
  • Has trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Peach Flavor (purple bottle)

NDF Shine

The Shine product is best for healing sensitive tummies and can help with speech delays.

  • Helps remove toxins (heave mental, chemicals)
  • Supports gastrointestinal immune function
  • Enhances speech and communication
  • Settles tummy issues
  • Includes trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Pushes bad bugs out of the gastrointestinal tract and bowel
  • First probiotic lysate liquid
  • Supports immunity (IgA)
  • Restores gut integrity (IgM)
  • Raspberry Flavor (orange bottle)

NDF Pooper

I think most can guess what this one is best used for!

  • Promotes relaxation
  • Alleviates bowel-related stomach discomfort
  • Helps moisten and lubricate the intestines
  • Promotes intestinal integrity
  • Support healthy bowel movements
  • Mango flavor (brown bottle)

About the company: BioRay has been around for about 25 years. They use a mixture of ancient Chinese medicine and modern science to formulate their products. They make their products in small batches and use only organic ingredients.

Now you can find their AMAZING BioRay Kids line on Perfect Supplements, and save 10% with my code SASSY at checkout.

You can also check out their new symptom chart to see which one of their products might work best for you based on symptoms!

I just noticed that they also sell this line in some stores. You can check their website to find a store near you!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*